We’re here to take a potentially controversial stance: video games are art. I know, it’s pretty wild. Congratulate us on our iconoclasm. But even if video games are an artform unto themselves, the word “cinematic” usually comes out to describe particularly arty games. Games have adapted movie-style visuals and storytelling quite well, but, with a few notable exceptions, movies have yet to really capture what makes a particular game title great. Hasn’t stopped them from trying! And Netflix has set its sights on one of the pillars of modern video gaming with a BioShock movie. After this adaptation announcement earlier this year, the movie is gaining traction with a director and writer on board.
Netflix reveals that “Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I Am Legend, Slumberland) has joined to direct the live-action film adaptation with Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049, Death on the Nile) writing the screenplay. Both these creators have done some great work, so fans should feel excited.
In February, a brief tweet via Netflix’s Geeked Twitter account announced a movie version of the 2007 first-person shooter from 2K and Take-Two Interactive.
Netflix, 2K and Take-Two Interactive are partnering to produce a film adaptation of the renowned video game franchise BioShock.— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) February 15, 2022
BioShock is a sci-fi mystery about an unnamed protagonist in 1960 whose plane crashes over the ocean only to find an elevator to an opulent, art deco city underwater. But as gorgeous as it looks, it’s anything but idyllic. The brainchild of Randian business mogul Andrew Ryan, the city Rapture was supposed to allow rampant capitalism, exceptionalism, individualism, and Objectivism. Scientists developed genetic upgrades which naturally turned most of the populace into insane nightmare monsters. The player character has to piece together the mystery of their own past, what happened in the city, and avoid the terrifying Big Daddies who can pretty much kill you on sight.
BioShock is a very tough title to translate to a movie. So much of the game’s success depends on the player’s choice—or lack thereof. It’s a scary survival horror game, but it also has complex history and backstory that we only learn about over hours and hours of gameplay. This is not to say it’s an impossible task, of course, but it’ll definitely take a deft hand.
So far, we don’t know anything more than these announcements. No dates or times or anything of that nature have been shared. We don’t even know if it’ll be strictly an adaptation of the first game; the announcement says “franchise,” which means it very well could borrow elements from BioShock 2 or BioShock Infinite as well. But needless to say, we’ll kindly wait with bated breath until we get more updates. And remember: “A man chooses; a slave obeys.”
Originally published on February 15.